Tuff Socks Naturally Update

Compliments of the season to you all. Our Dear Girl made this card.

This is my last post for 2017. Needle & Spindle will be having a wee rest over the Festive Season and probably most of the January school holidays too. Thank you for being such enthusiastic, loyal readers this year. I have cherished this space and the return of making and sharing to my life.

Before things wind down (up) too much before Christmas, I thought it timely to update the Tuff Socks Naturally project. This project is an open, collaborative project, a spinning and knitting adventure, exploring natural, local, more sustainable alternatives to the current superwash and nylon sock yarns and fibres.

I just finished my second pair of socks for the project, a 3 ply worsted sock yarn hand spun from a Corriedale x Ryeland x Finn fleece from Lucinvale Fleeces, reinforced at heels and toes with a mohair laceweight spun up from fifth clip mohair locks from Mohair Rare.  I will post these properly next year with all their geeky deets.

Now, let’s catch up with the other Tuff Socks comrades. Mary from Local & Bespoke has just finished spinning and knitting a lovely pair of cabled socks from a blend of Blue Faced Leceister, Texel and Silk. She spun these fine with a tight twist and they look super handsome.

Adele has one half of pair of socks hand spun and knitted from Shropshire tops from Shropshire Woolies and she’s made some sample swatches to test machine washing.

I didn’t quite spin enough for my tuff socks so they have been put on hold while I wait for a glitch in my wheel to get fixed. I used what I had left over from the first sock to knit some swatches for experimenting on. The left is before washing and the right is after a wash at 90 degrees. I never wash anything at 90 degrees but I wanted to see what would happen to the fibre. It shrunk ever so slightly but not enough that it would alter the fit of the sock. Marilyn at Shropshire Woollies recommends spinning a woollen yarn. I was a bit hesitant for socks as woollen lacks the durability of worsted so I compensated by adding an extra ply. I am glad that I did this as the fabric blooms and is definitely soft enough for even the most anti wool people in our lives (especially on bare toes) I am looking forward to seeing how well these wear once the weather cools down. I also want to try some worsted spun to see what kind of fabric I get. So much to explore… #tuffsocksnaturally #handspunyarn #shropshirewoollies

A post shared by Adele (@adelemoon) on

We’ve also had some other folks join our open sock exploration. Clare Devine from Knit Share Love made a pair of socks in Blacker Yarns Mohair Sock. She wore them non stop on a UK trip for a month and will be sharing her thoughts on how they went in the new year. Look out for a post on her blog.

Lauren Champs from South Australia is going to be making a pair of bushwalking socks from this lovely Shropshire wool.

Josh Moll from the Netherlands made these walnut dyed socks, reinforcing the heels with a strand of mohair.

It is super exciting seeing the socks starting to emerge on Instagram. We are using the tag #tuffsocksnaturally. Please use the tag for any fibre selections, spinning and knitting experiments and finished socks that fit the project theme. You can also share any information or links in the comments sections of this blog or Local & Bespoke.

After all the festive flusterings are done and it is time to start thinking of the New Year, why not start with a freshly spun/knitted pair of socks for the tuffsocksnaturally project. Do join us!

I look forward to seeing you back here next year.

 

20. December 2017 by Rebecca
Categories: knit, spin | Tags: , , , | 10 comments

Comments (10)

  1. may all your festive flusterings be pleasurable! (and may there be holiday knitting…)

    • Thank you Mary! Have yourself a lovely Christmas too, it will be hot and dry probably but there is always holiday knitting!

  2. Wunderbar! You have really started a movement and an impressive one it is also! Nice card……love the colours. Cheers.

    • Merry Christmas Susan, you are generous but I think rather we are being drawn into the current of an existing stream of thought! Onward to better socks!

  3. What a beautiful card by your daughter, I love her paintwork!

    Enjoying reading about the socks. I have been experimenting with knitting no nylon socks for about three years now and am learning a great deal about wool in the process. So far my most hard wearing ones have been from Jacob and Romney sheep, although the Zwartbles/mohair ones I have just finished feel like they will do well. I have always used the same pattern to date, next step is to experiment with techniques such as reinforcing the heel. I do find simple socks so satisfying to knit!

    Best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and 2018.

    • Dear Kate, Thanks so much for your email. Your sock wisdom is much appreciated. We don’t have Jacob’s in Australia, or Zwartbles for that matter but we do have Romney and I’ve never spun it or knitted with it yet. So that is going to go high on my list. It is reassuring to hear that you are three years in to your no nylon sock journey and still finding it so interesting. Best wishes for the Season.

  4. Who can resist these beautiful socks? I have to add the project to my “would love to do list”.
    Dear Rebecca, I wish you and yours health and happiness. Diana.

    • How lovely to hear from you Diana! And I in return, wish you and yours much health and happiness! Good to hear we’ve made it to the ‘love to do’ list. Best wishes.

  5. Happy Christmas Rebecca! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing holiday. Looking forward to reading more about the sock adventures next year. These new finished ones are lovely. Those subtle zig-zags are wonderful!

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